News Round-Up: September 17, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Anti-fracking group delivers report to Morgan County commissioners

Laura Steepleton and Patty Heaphy of Morgan County Frack Ban gave a report to the Morgan County Commission at its most recent meeting. They’re concerned about the welfare of people in areas with hydraulic fracturing to get at natural gas deposits.

Grand Rapids activist group planning march to protest natural gas ‘fracking,’ state land auction

An activist group in Grand Rapids is organizing a march to protest hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in conjunction with a global day of demonstrations against the natural gas drilling practice.

Slow-coming fracking decision very Cuomo-esque

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo weighs whether to allow fracking in the Empire State, environmentalists are working to make the case that the decision could affect his potential White House hopes in 2016.

Fund likely for future fracking fiascos


THE Government appears to be considering the idea that gas exploration companies that will ultimately be given the green light to frack in the Karoo will be required to put a capital amount in trust upfront as an environmental insurance to avoid a repeat of the acid mine drainage saga in Gauteng.


Using magnets to clean up oil spills

 Oil spill control efforts — like those used during the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico — typically focus on the crude floating on the surface of the water and rely on a hodgepodge of solutions from skimmers and floating containment booms to burning the oil and using chemical dispersants. None of them are wildly effective on their own. And even when used in combination, not all the oil is recovered, especially when the water is choppy.


BP asks US judge to toss fuel sellers’ claims that 2010 oil spill tarnished brand

BP PLC is asking a U.S. judge to dismiss claims by its fuel dealers that the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico diminished the value of the BP brand and cost them business.



Oil spill barge gets final tests before heading to Arctic

After months of delay, a barge-mounted oil well blowout containment system built in Bellingham is undergoing sea trials before its final deployment to a Shell Oil Co. exploration project in the Chukchi Sea, north of the Bering Straits.

Exxon Valdez could affect BP settlement

As a federal judge prepares to rule on a proposed settlement related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, attorneys were in his New Orleans courtroom Friday arguing over how to apply a law passed in response to another disaster 20 years earlier – the Exxon Valdez spill.


Old Fukushima houses to be restored for evacuees

A project is under way in the town of Mishima, Fukushima Prefecture, to restore old, unoccupied houses to sell or lease to people who were forced to evacuate from their homes because of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.


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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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